Life's Too Short for Leftovers - Cover Reveal

Non Fiction
Date Published: July 23, 2015

Part inspirational rallying call, part first-person, autobiographical narrative, part eulogy for a treasured friend and mentor, “Life’s Too Short for Leftovers” takes the reader on a highly personal journey of self-discovery. Best-selling author Michael Ditchfield’s  “9 Lessons from a Third World Kitchen” – cleverly presented as courses on a menu – conveys a singular perspective on what it means to be human, and what is required of us as individuals to be active, engaged participants in humanity.

With delightfully dry wit and profound understanding, Ditchfield introduces us to Chef Noel Cunningham – his guide and teacher – along with a kitchen-full of congenial and extraordinarily noble real-life protagonists that have served as both lightning rods and light posts in the author’s relentless (albeit sometimes reluctant) pathway toward personal transformation.

Ditchfield is a master storyteller, and his conversational style skillfully relates timeless philosophies to contemporary challenges and opportunities that face Third World countries today. Based on his extensive experience in Africa, Ditchfield brings a generous portion of lucid insights and aha moments to the table, leading the charge toward improved, positive outcomes – in our own lives, and in the lives of others. “Life’s Too Short for Leftovers” is a stimulating and memorable must- read for students of Life.


Bon App├ętit

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
~Albert Schweitzer

I have surrounded myself with Chef ’s nurturing wisdom every day since his ghostlike face appeared before my sheepish eyes on that memorable evening in 1992. I am forever grateful to Noel for keeping me close, transforming the course of my life. He welcomed me into his kitchen as a friend and “closet chef” to learn the finer touches of his culinary expertise … and to understand his deeper mission. I learned how to scramble eggs without using any utensil except the pan, and I endeavored to give of myself to help him offer the children of Africa a better tomorrow. He was my mentor and friend on a much deeper level than anyone else in my life. As a mentor, he schooled me for hours on end; and as a friend, he scolded and embraced me with equal vigor.

For many years, I was a student in Noel’s kitchen of wisdom, where the apron of his profession had become the very fabric of his life. The kitchen that we both shared was not limited to this country, but boiled over into the Third World, where every child has a right to live, to have enough to eat, and to be respected as a human being.

I will never graduate, because there is no graduation ceremony; I will never receive a diploma, because there is no diploma. But what I achieved in Noel’s kitchen is a degree of hope that I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others—after changing my own life first. I took a sharp knife and burst the bubble that had become the gilded cage I’d lived in since my arrival from the shores of Jolly Olde England. Since then, I’ve made a point of surrounding myself with people wiser than me.

This book intends to illustrate how changing our lives enriches our lives. Think of the times when we sit for a long period of time and one leg starts to fall asleep; we adjust our bodies to feel more comfortable. In the big picture, life is no different. We usually only change when we are uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Some cooks only replace a menu item when it’s run its course. But the great chefs are always changing their menus. Whether because they are tuned in to seasonal influences or because they know they so much more to offer, they are not afraid to add or remove something. They believe in themselves enough to make those kinds of decisions.

Changing when we’re comfortable means taking responsibility early enough to avoid discomfort. We can change even when things are going well. We can’t change yesterday’s menu; we can only change today’s.

“Only a fool trips on what is behind him.”

Of course, there are some things that stand the test of time, like Chef Noel’s Penne Bagutta with Chicken, Mushrooms and Broccoli, or Life with Integrity, Accountability, Love, and Decency. Both are abidingly satisfying.

The nine lessons set forth herein pertain to the emotions and interactions that we all face in our daily lives. The lessons evolved as a result of me sitting down around the fire with people of the Third World, listening to their voices that collectively resound with wisdom and love. Like most of us, they want better lives for their families, and are prepared to do what it takes to get there. It’s just a little more difficult when they are dealing with the particular challenges that
life has put on their table.

These lessons slice across the cutting board of life—from the relationships we have to ourselves to the relationships we have with others.

By taking a hard look at your motives and the motives of others in Read the Recipe to observing the temperature at which you’re functioning as you Preheat the Oven, you will begin to understand. In learning patience, forgiveness, and tolerance as you Simmer, Don’t
Stir, and in overcoming procrastination as you Clean Your Plate, you will begin to understand. In simplifying your life as you Just Add Water, you will continue to understand. You will begin to exceed your seeming limitations as you Bring to a Boil, and offer life’s riches to others as you Pass the Butter. You will discover that you can make a difference in your world by getting to
know your own kitchen … and then inviting others in, who are part of the world we share.

These nine lessons are ones that matter. They will have a quiet way of sneaking into everyday life. We will never go hungry if we accept personal responsibility, and neither will the people around us. We may not see now that change is on the menu, but we will find ourselves ordering it. We’ll never know how far the ripples will travel or how many lives we might touch unless we drop the first potato into the water. Whether it’s the taste of our own enriched lives or that of others, it’s a dish that we’ll order time and time again. We should spice our own lives the way we intend them to taste—we have all the right ingredients, and we are about to learn how to use them. With these lessons, we can choose a life the way we would choose a meal: wisely

About the Author

Humanitarian Michael Ditchfield—bestselling author, sought-after speaker, entrepreneur, and former professional athlete, is committed to addressing the humanitarian plight of developing countries. Ditchfield speaks widely on how to inspire change and promote empowerment among cultures and individuals.

He has worked extensively with children in Africa using sports and culture in furthering the peace process. He remains dedicated to transforming lives by advocating for human dignity across the globe.

Contact Link

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~ Sunglass ~ Review

It is really important to wear Sunglasses even on those overcast days and during the winter months. I always have my sunglasses with me as I now find it hard not to wear them. I was talking to a optometrist one day about sunglasses and she said because I am light eyed that I may actually have more sensitivity to light and also the fact that I work overnights also will effect my eyes. 

Wearing the proper sunglasses can be hard on the wallet but I have been recently introduced to an online shop that sells cheap glasses including sunglasses. 

I chose to review a big pair of sunglasses with dragonflies on the sides. They are great! I love how they block out the bright sun and I have gotten many compliments on the glasses. I find they are great for driving and just being outside. They are not too dark on overcast days so I can still wear them comfortably. has a really nice and clean website that is easy to navigate around. If you are looking for prescription eyeglasses they have a wide variety available for men & women and a few for kids! What I like also is that you can easily order a pair of glasses from the comfort of your own home. Shipping is Free over $49 for regular air mail and Free over $149 for DHL/UPS/FEDX. 

Easy returns if your glasses arrive damaged, they also offer returns/exchanges on frames if broken in a certain time frame (ranging from 14-30 days) check out their website for more details. 

Get your First Pair Free for a limited time! Just head over to and click on the link at the top of their site First Pair Free. Valid on your first purchase, one per customer and prescription. All eyeglasses include: Free 1.50 Single Vision Lenses, Free Anti-scratch coating, Free protection case & cloth. 

I love that my new sunglasses arrived in a nice case and included a cloth. I find a lot of the time the cases don't really fit the glasses well but not this time. They fit just right so I can protect my new sunglasses.

Visit on Facebook, Twitter and their Blog.  Want to save money? Use this coupon code (GSHOT50) on check out to save 50% off eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above product for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The Seeker by Karan Bajaj ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Can a man walk on water? Can he see the future? Can he read people’s minds? One man will find answers that challenge all his rational beliefs. After a deep personal loss, Maximus Pzoras, Harvard economist and Wall Street banker, sets out on a quest to find the cause of human pain and suffering. His journey takes him from New York to a hidden ashram in south India to a drought-stricken village to a freezing cave high in the Himalayas. And as he goes from cubicle dweller to cave dwelling yogi, he starts to develop extraordinary powers. But will Max, investment banker turned Himalayan sage, find the answers to the questions that led him to India? The Seeker is both a gripping adventure and a story of a man’s tremendous inner transformation, a Siddhartha for our generation.

Purchase a copy on Karan Bajaj Website

About the Author:

Karan Bajaj is the #1 bestselling novelist of KEEP OFF THE GRASS (HarperCollins: 2008) and JOHNNY GONE DOWN (HarperCollins: 2010) with more than 250,000 copies of his novels in print. Both novels were optioned into films, the latter just entering pre-production and slotted for a 2016 international release. He was selected as one of the “Top 35 Under 35 Indian” by India Today and was nominated for all of India’s top literary awards—the Crossword Book of the Year, Indiaplaza Golden Quill and Teacher’s Indian Achievers Awards(Arts).

THE SEEKER, Karan's first international novel, will be published by Penguin-Random House in India in June’ 2015 and US/world in early 2016. It was inspired by Karan’s one year spiritual sabbatical learning Yoga in a South Indian Ashram, meditating in complete silence in the Vedantic tradition in the Indian Himalayas and living as a Buddhist Monk in a Scottish monastery. Now back in New York, Karan is a certified Yoga teacher attached to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center while working his day job as the Chief Marketing Officer of the cult mom brand, Aden and Anais.

Born in 1979 into an Army family, Karan is an engineering graduate from BIT Ranchi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. 

Connect: Goodreads | TwitterWebsite | Facebook |


This was an amazing book, very lovable characters with a great story of a young man who has strived to become what he felt was is life needs. Only when he meets a food cart owner from India that he realizes there is more to his life than Wall Street and money. Max sets out on an amazing journey of self discovery, to become a great yogi. I was totally drawn to this book right from reading the synopsis. I couldn't wait to read it! Karan did an amazing job of hooking me into the story right from the beginning and taking me on a wonderful journey along with Max and some very dynamic characters that you can't help wondering what my own calling is. I have started my own journey into looking inside me and realize there is so much to learn in a yoga practice. Meditation is an amazing thing. Max overcomes what most people would never even experience in ones life. After reading The Seeker is has me looking at everything we take for granted on a daily basis, also what I can do without and why do I hold onto somethings.

I can't wait to read more from Karan Bajaj as he is an amazing writer. I give The Seeker a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this book to everyone not just people interested in meditation and yoga.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Beautiful Criminal Book Review

Long days, precious nights…

Mima Etu lives a quiet life with her sled dogs in the stunning Canadian Rockies. But that all changes when she stumbles upon a plane crash while out on a supply run. She’s shocked to discover the pilot is still alive—though barely. With the sun setting and the temperatures quickly dropping, Mima knows he’d never survive the trip to the nearest hospital. So she takes the stranger back to her cabin. As he heals, his vague answers to Mima’s questions about the flight tell her he has secrets. But more disturbing is the consuming, immediate attraction she senses between them.
Before he lost control of his Cessna and plunged into a pilot’s hell, Gabriel Miller was on a deadly mission with precious cargo. Now he’s awakened in the comfort of a log cabin with a gorgeous woman tending to his every need. Her soft-spoken beauty sparks his longing for a different kind of life….and it isn’t long before they surrender to a blazing passion. But their blissful days are numbered. For the owners of the cargo are bent on finding Gabriel—and once they do, they don’t intend to leave any witnesses behind.


Beautiful Criminal is available for pre-order at  Amazon, B&N,  Kobo and Google Play

Meet the author:

Shady Grace makes Northern Ontario her home, where the bush is so thick you can’t see two feet past the tree line. Perhaps the mystery of the woods was what initially sparked her need to write. She adores strong alpha males who fall for fiery, independent women, in settings with humorous dialogue and action-filled plots. Shady believes love and sex should be exciting and unforgettable. Being able to write about it is better than cheesecake.

Shady Grace is the new pen name of multi-published erotic author BL Bonita, who earned a starred review fromPublishers Weekly for Dark Sun Rising. Visit her website at, and find her on Facebook at

For More Information

Visit Shady’s website.
Connect with Shady on Facebook , Pinterest, and Goodreads

 My Review:

Beautiful criminal is a short but very enjoyable read. Shady writes a very unlikely story of a mysterious man found somewhat alive in a plane crash. Main character Mima uses her dog team to bring him back to her cabin where she looks after him, until he heals.
The spark is real, and tension runs high, but the stress of Gabriel's need to get in touch with his boss remains in the background, but he's in the middle of nowhere and Mima has no idea about what exactly was in the back of the plane. Nor does she expect the owners of this precious cargo to show up unannounced at her home.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Cheryl. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

New on Netflix DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge

On June 26, the studio that brought you How to Train Your Dragon unveils an all-new Netflix original series that takes Hiccup and Toothless to the edge of adventure: DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: RACE TO THE EDGE!

In this new original series, Hiccup and Toothless lead the Dragon Riders as they soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye -- an ancient artifact filled with secrets that will lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered dragons.  But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragon hunters, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dragon Eye.

Thirteen episodes of the all-new DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: RACE TO THE EDGE premiere exclusively on Netflix on June 26 worldwide!

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ~ Review & Giveaway!

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs with Digital HD boast over an hour of super-powered extras highlighted by three exclusive and delightfully fun sing-along music videos: “Thank Gosh It’s Monday,” “Teamwork” and “Theme Song/Rap Battle.” The Combo Packs also include eight exciting featurettes that take you from Bikini Bottom to the surface, deleted scenes and more. On a mission to save his world, SpongeBob SquarePants is headed to ours. When pirate Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) steals the secret recipe for the beloved Krabby Patties, SpongeBob and friends come ashore to bring back the missing formula. To succeed, they must team up with former rival, Plankton, but soon realize that to defeat a super-villain,they must unleash their inner superheroes.

Feature film in high definition
  • On the Surface
  • Underwater Awesomeness
  • Bikini Bottom Boogie
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Out of His World o When I Grow Up, I Want to Make Funny Sounds
  • Becoming Burger Beard
  • Making the Burger Mobile Chase Sequence
  • It’s Hip to Be SquarePants
  • A Day in the Life of a Sponge
  • Plankton Rules the World!
  • Bikini Bottom Confidential: Rock Stars of the Sea
  • International Sponge of Mystery
  • Meet Bubbles
  • The Speech
  • Thank Gosh It’s Monday o SpongeBob Sing-Alongs:
  • Thank Gosh It’s Monday
  • Teamwork
  • Theme Song/Rap Battle
  • “Squeeze Me” Music Video by N.E.R.D.
  • Deleted/Extended/Alternate/Test Scenes
Feature film in standard definition

Review: (This review was written by my daughter ~ A)

I liked this movie because SpongeBob and Plankton the evil guy, travel through time and meet a magical dolphin whose name is Bubbles. Bubbles is a traveler that watches over the earth. He had to use the washroom so Bubbles asked SpongeBob and Plankton to watch the Universe. While they were watching it two planets crashed together. Bubbles came out of the washroom and realized the planets crashed. I liked Sandy when she was kung fu rodent. This movie has tons of fun characters that made me laugh and make me feel silly while I ate popcorn. I give this movie 5 stars! You must see this new movie The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water! It is going to be a hit for summer movies on DVD. They also have three sing-alongs on this DVD. Thanks for reading my review. ~A

Giveaway! Our friends at  Paramount Studios would like to offer one lucky Genuine Jenn reader a copy of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents. Please enter below!

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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above dvd for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman ~ Q & A

Book Description:

In PARENTING WITH PRESENCE, marriage and family therapist Susan Stiffelman says that even though most parents subscribe to the belief that inner growth happens as a result of daily meditation, mindfulness retreats, and/or inspiration from wise luminaries, it is actually their children who can be their greatest teachers.

“When it comes to parenting, it seems that although we may not have knowingly signed up for the ‘course’ our children offer, we nonetheless find ourselves forced to profoundly grow, and grow up,” writes Stiffelman. “In this respect, I believe our children can become our greatest teachers. While we may not deliberately choose to have a baby so that we can heal wounds from our childhood or become a better version of ourselves, in fact, those opportunities — and thousands more — are birthed right along with our children.”

PARENTING WITH PRESENCE invites parents to embark on a journey of bringing greater peace, joy, and personal transformation into their day-to-day parenting. Stiffelman offers proven strategies to help parents navigate the ups and downs of real-life child rearing with more consciousness, and to learn how to subdue the triggers that make them lose (or temporarily misplace) their equanimity.

About the Author: 

SUSAN STIFFELMAN, MFT is the bestselling author of Parenting with Presence and Parenting without Power Struggles. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a credentialed teacher, and the Huffington Post’s weekly “Parent Coach” advice columnist. She lives in Malibu, California where she is an aspiring banjo player, a determined tap-dancer, and an optimistic gardener. 

Visit her online at

Q and A with Susan Shiffelman
Author of Parenting with Presence

In Parenting with Presence you say, “You’re living with your best teacher.” What do you mean by that? Aren’t parents supposed to be teachers for their children?

Yes, parents are certainly teachers or guides for our children, but if you step back and see everything in your life—including child-rearing—as opportunities to learn more about yourself and grow as a person, then hardly anyone is as valuable a teacher as your child. Our love for our kids can motivate us to stretch and transform in ways nothing else might.

For example, you might have a rather impatient nature. Before children, you go to the grocery store, load the cart with the things you need, pay, come home and unpack the groceries.

But if you’re a parent that is not how the trip is going to go. There are negotiations over the car seat, battles over candy, long pauses to examine a dead bug, and so on. Highly inefficient! You can either try to make things happen as you’d like, or breath, slow down, and learn a little patience.

On the flip side, our children can teach us about love in ways that expand our hearts in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Their loving is so pure that it helps us become softer and more generous with our love. 

In your book you talk about your own journey, starting to meditate at just seventeen. Is this book only for people who share your commitment for meditation and that sort of thing? 

Absolutely not! I offered a look at my personal story to help emphasize the possibilities for deep, personal growth that parenting provides. I also wanted those parents who are calm and centered by nature to see that it’s normal for even the most seasoned yogini or meditator to fall apart under the Eckhart Tolle personally selected your book for publication under his new Eckhart Tolle Editions imprint with New World Library. He also wrote the foreword and I understand he helped with editing. 

What was it like to work with him?

It was an incredible honor to work with Eckhart; he was so encouraging, and so very kind. And funny! After our calls I would often just sit and smile…feeling quiet and still and so grateful. On a practical note, he is an astute editor; he caught little things that I would have missed, and made a real point of wanting to ensure that the reader never got confused by something expressed unclearly. It was a true gift You’ve got a lot of very practical strategies in the book for helping kids and parents manage stress, discover their passions, have more fun, be more present, improve communication, develop closer connection and be happier. 

Could you share one or two of your favorites?

One of the strategies that readers will discover in the book has to do with helping parents and children develop healthy and respectful ways of communicating. I have one exercise called the Three Yeses that allows both parent and child to really feel heard, even when they have very different views about an issue. I illustrate this by actually sharing a word for word dialogue in the book between a mother and I also introduce a number of stress-reducing activities—in fact the final chapter is filled with exercises and activities that parents can do with or without their children to foster more connection, calm, mindfulness and enjoyment. One simple exercise for bringing agitated or worried children back to the present moment is to have them rub their hands together for ten seconds, and then tune in to the heat and the tingling sensations. This is a way of moving out of stressful mental activity and back into the body. You say that it isn’t a child’s job to behave in a way that makes us look good or feel better about ourselves as parents.

What do you mean?

Many of us make our children at least partially responsible for our happiness by projecting our need for approval or respect onto them. This is a formula for all kinds of trouble, because our children intuitively know that it isn’t their job to behave in a way that makes us look good. But more importantly, it makes us needy and whenever we need something from our children, we cannot be truly in charge as what I call the calm, confident Captain of the ship.

You say that we shouldn’t take our child’s behavior personally, but isn’t that easier said than done? When a child rolls her eyes or ignores her parent’s requests, isn’t it personal?

Yes, it’s much easier said than done! But it’s incredibly liberating when we stop taking our children’s upsetting behavior personally, and see it as either age-appropriate behavior, an expression of an underlying worry, frustration or resentment, or a convoluted way of getting our attention or turning on You have said that often hear privately from kids who they wish their parents were less wishy- washy, even though those same kids often give their parents a hard time and refuse to cooperate with a parent’s restrictions. 

Why is that?

Children are highly dependent on their parents—and for longer than almost any other species. When we fail to create structure or set limits, it is actually quite anxiety-producing for them. Kids relax when they know where the ground and the ceiling are; when they feel a sense of containment that comes from us.

You talk about helping kids feel sad. Isn’t that the opposite of what most parents want to do? It seems we bend over backwards to help our kids feel happy!

When we try to fix our children’s problems or talk them out of their upsets—sometimes so that we can feel better-- we are in effect depriving them of the opportunity to develop resilience. For a child to become a sturdy adult capable of handling life’s ups and downs, they need to live through sadness, with our loving support and understanding, of course.

In the book there are some pretty emotional scenes in which you describe parents who end up facing old feelings around being ignored or having been told they shouldn’t express anger. Can Yes, I think readers are going to find this aspect of the book quite unique—and powerful. I have learned that when something our child does triggers us emotionally, it is often reactivating painful feelings from our own childhoods. One mother was forbidden from expressing anger as a little girl. Although she was committed to letting her own daughter express anger and upset, she found that it generated tremendous rage inside of her. We moved through those feelings so that she could allow her child to be mad without.

Another parent felt terribly disrespected when her daughter ignored her requests, leading to fairly ineffective lectures and punishments. I describe in the book how her voice had been muted growing up, and also in her marriage, with no one caring about what she wanted, making her highly sensitive to having her wishes dismissed by her kids. The work we did moved her from being passive or aggressive with her daughter, instead assertively making requests that weren’t saturated with her hurt or neediness—leading to much more cooperation!

You talk a lot about the difficulties that parents face with digital devices and their kids desire to use them as much as possible. What advice do you give parents about this hot topic?

The first has to do with owning that Captain of the ship role so that we can take responsibility for setting limits. When we are afraid of our kids’ reactions, or when we need them to like us, we cannot parent effectively. I also encourage parents to practice what they preach; it’s really hard for most of us to limit our use, but it’s essential that we model our own commitment to staying engaged with the 3D world rather than getting lost in the digital one.

You make a point of encouraging parents to walk the talk; to be kind to themselves and take care of themselves instead of running on fumes or being hard on themselves for mistakes. Why is that Parenting is more or less impossible, and yet…we wake up each morning to do our best by our children. We need to have a tribe to support us along the way. We need to eat and rest and take good care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, so that we can show up for our kids and so they see us modeling healthy and loving self-care. And the guilt and shame we subject ourselves to has to stop! I urge parents to acknowledge five things that went well at the end of each day, instead of reviewing the times they yelled or threatened. We are so terribly hard on ourselves. 

I hope this book helps parents kick that mean, critical voice out of their heads and treat themselves with great love and compassion. Parenting is so much better—and so much more fun—when we approach each day with an open-heart, rather than from fear, guilt or shame.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

I Challenge You to #Unplug

Life used to be simple. When I think about the simple life I wonder if I remember it as simple because I was a kid. We were expected to be good and have fun as kids, play outside and spend time with friends. Now looking at things they seem more complex even for kids. Everyone is so connected these days to TV, laptops, tablets, smartphones and handheld game devices. I remember having a gaming system but we didn't use it that much. If I wasn't out with my friends playing in the neighborhood I was reading a book, doing homework, spending time with my family or figure skating.

This blog post was actually started about a year ago! I can't believe a year has past and I didn't post this. I had a conversation on Twitter one night with a couple ladies about the addiction to our electronic devises or better yet our social media. We discussed different ways on how we could unplug more from our smartphones and social media. A year before this conversation I had challenged myself to unplug each day just before the kids came home from school. I would turn off the laptop and limit my use of my smartphone/tablet. I would actually turn it off on Friday nights and leave it off until mid day Saturday. I know that isn't long but it is when you are always connected, right?

In this day and age I would say the majority of people are connected to the web by either a phone, tablet or computer/laptop. We are consumed by social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. We will have a conversation through text or social media before even picking our telephone. How many times do you see two people sitting together and both of them are on their phones? This is now highly common, just look around the next time you are out.

Has society helped us be more plugged in? Yes, I think so. The whole start to smartphones and apps. Social media on the go at the touch of our fingertips. It is so easy to stay connected ALL the time.  Do we need to be that connected at all times? How many times do you go out to dinner or a walk and put away the phone? I see lots of people with their phones on the table at restaurants.

Lately I have found Facebook to be really toxic. Lots of people like to post nasty comments to people and attack people for things that are just petty. I decided last Wednesday I would log out of Facebook and take some time off. I am popping once a day to check in on my fitness groups but that is all. I do not want the toxic atmosphere. Plus I find we waste so much time on Social Media where we could be putting this time into something worthwhile. What ever happened to picking up a book or magazine, actually reading articles instead of just junk?

I found a great podcast last week just at the right time about How to Unplug. Brendon Burchard talks about that first hour in the morning and the last hour at night. We always feel like we need to check in and give all our time away. Check out Brendon's post. You really can accomplish so much more when you are not mindlessly checking to social media every 10 minutes. 

My Challenge to You!

So here is my challenge to you! Set up a time slot where you can put away all devises that connect you to the internet and social media. Maybe you want to put away your phone during dinner or after 8pm. Spend more time with your family or spouse without your phone.

I am taking my challenge a bit bigger this time around. I am putting this in place for the next 30 days and see how I do. I will also journal how it is going. Check back to see how I am doing and hold me accountable!
  • I will schedule 30-60 minutes a day (Monday to Friday) that I will check into Facebook. I will leave it logged out on my phone. This is to check into my fitness challenge group and check in with friends. I am thinking of breaking it up into 20 minutes at a time or less.
  • Do not check into any social media or email for the first hour of the day!
  • Stop checking email and social media at 8pm daily. I will allow myself to post Sweaty Selfies after 8 but will wait until the following day to check into challenge groups on Facebook etc.
Will you take the challenge with me? Post in the comments below how you will challenge yourself to unplug.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Disneynature Monkey Kingdom on DigitalHD, DMA, & Blu-ray Combo Pack 9/15

I love the Disneynature movies and I am so excited for the newest one to be released on DigitalHD, DMA, & Blu-ray Combo Pack on September 15, 2015! My daughter has been dying to see this one since we saw an advertisement at the theatre. 

Disneynature, the studio that brought you Chimpanzee and Bears, comes MONKEY KINGDOM, a spectacular tale set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya, a clever and resourceful monkey, and her family will make you laugh and warm your heart as she realizes her dreams for her son’s future. 

Narrated by Tina Fey, own this breathtaking feature film on  Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) & Blu-ray Combo Pack on September 15

Enjoy this must-own film and Disneynature will donate a portion of first-week sales to Conservation International to help protect endangered species in their natural habitats.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. This is just an announcement post. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Return to Food the life changing anti-diet by Sherry Strong ~ Book Review & Tour

Book Description:

Chances are if you are feeling flat, fat and tired, or are experiencing chronic illness, you are not eating real food. If you want to bounce out of bed feeling fit and fabulous you must find out what is and isn't real food. This book challenges prescriptive approaches to diet, eating and food, with a revolutionary philosophical approach based on over 20 years of working with private clients. This approach has seen thousands of people develop a more pleasurable, healthier, and more sustainable eating lifestyle.

Purchase a copy of Return to Food the life changing anit-diet. 


Programs Sherry's developed:

Return to Food Lifestyle Makeover Program:This 8 Module Online course is designed so that you can do a self directed Lifestyle Makeover using the philosophies and strategies Sherry has used to help celebrities, elite athletes, CEO's, billionaires and everyday people who want to lose weight naturally, increase their energy, have clearer thinking and more even moods without drugs or dieting. 

Return to Food Academy:This is the training program people invest in to become Return to Food Coaches. This is usually people who want Sherry's job and truly want to help people live healthier more fulfilling lives while developing a business that gives them freedom and deep meaning to their work.

Meet the author:

Sherry Strong is a philosopher, chef and nutritionist who has travelled around the globe to do diet and lifestyle makeovers, and has worked with celebrities, elite athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, billionaires, and Jamie Oliver and his Fifteen Foundation. Sherry’s philosophies and simple strategies help people feel better and live their best life by developing a healthy relationship with and their body. Sherry was the Victorian Chair of Nutrition Australia, the Melbourne Head of Slow Food, Curator and Co-Founder of the World Wellness Project Summit and founder of the Return to Food Academy where she teaches people to become Return to Food Coaches and Entrepreneurs. 

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


This book was just what I needed after moving away from as much processed foods as I can and eating clean and raw foods instead. I was blown away with the information on things that we think are less processed or safe. Also loved learning how different foods are processed and what they lose during this process. This is not a diet book it is a lifestyle change on how we eat. Most of the weight loss is achieved in the kitchen but to lose the weight we need to learn how to eat and Return to Food is a great resource to get people started.

The author includes nice drawings in the book that really compliment and break up the pages. I also love that Sherry tells readers that they can jump around in the book and it doesn't need to be read in order and to go ahead and use the recipes. It is more than recipes and information on how/what to eat there are also sections on mind and soul. Living mindful and eating mindfully. We have noticed a huge difference since starting to eat clean & raw and can't wait to add more of Sherry's recipes into our meal planning especially with it being summer we can eat more locally grown fruits and veggies. We have even planted a garden this year.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 and will be checking out more about the academy that Sherry has to teach people to help overs with the learning's from Return to Food. Thank You Sherry for all the great information. 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Disney Pixar Inside Out ~ Review

Last night the family had the opportunity to attend the new Disney Pixar film called Inside Out. This is a very cute family film about the voice in our heads. More so the emotions that we can feel. 

About the movie: 

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.

Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

When Riley's family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.", "Up"), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. ("Up") and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino ("The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "Up"), Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" opens in theatres on June 19, 2015.


Absolute favourite movie for the whole family! I don't even know where to start with this film, I found this to be one of the better films I have watched with the kids lately. One of the main reasons I liked is that it is geared for the whole family, everyone in the theatre laughing not just the kids! It is a great learning movie for children about their emotions, teaching kids that it is okay to have all of these emotions (fear, anger, disgust, joy and sadness) and that they do work together. We do need sadness in out head to help us also experience joy. One our drive home I asked the kids what their favourite parts of the movie were and both of them said it was really hard to choose as they loved the whole movie. My son did love when we got to see dads emotions! 

My daughter gets very emotional during films and there were a couple times I thought she would totally burst into a crying fit but she was good and held onto it until we got into the parking lot and let the tears roll! I did find some spots sad so this is my fair warning! All in all the whole family loved this movie, even dad said he really enjoyed it! 

If you get the chance to head out this weekend and catch a movie I would highly recommend catching Inside Out in 3D! 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. We received a pass to see the screening of this film in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The Lost Child by Ann Troup ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.

As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…

Purchase a copy on Amazon. 


I really enjoyed this book that took place in a nice little town called Hallow's End. Elaine recently lost her mother and decided to spread her ashes where she thought her mother would like best only to have her world turned upside down by learning the truth of her past. The author did a fabulous job on character development and the story line. Each character was well described and played a role in the story from the past even though they didn't know right away from meeting Elaine. The storyline flows really well and we get to know Elaine's mother a bit through Elaine when she goes to Hallow's End. Elaine has a scar on her neck that she has been hiding for as long as she can remember but she can not remember how it happened. I really liked Brody after you get to know her a bit you know she is just trying to help find her sister Mandy to see if this will help their mother get better. The authors ending I didn't except but I really did think it was a great way to end this tale. I look forward to reading more from Ann Troup.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

My Little Pony Tales ~ Complete Classic TV Series ~ Review

Attention My Little Pony fans! My Little Pony Tales: The Complete Classic TV Series is on DVD in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios! The 2-DVD set includes all 13 episodes of the show, originally airing on television in 1992, as well as sing-alongs.

Ponyland is full of excitement, if you know where to find it, and now all of your favorite My Little Pony Tales are finally collected in one amazing set! Join the 7 Pony Friends—Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Bright Eyes, Patch, Clover and Bon Bon — for 13 episodes of outrageous fun! Games, picnics, ice cream shops, roller derbies and even UFOs… nothing is off-limits when it comes to grand Pony adventures!

Episodes include: 

Disc 1 
Slumber Party / Too Sick To Notice
Battle Of The Bands / And The Winner Is…
Stand By Me / The Tea Party
The Masquerade / Out Of Luck
The Play’s The Thing / Shop Talk
Impractical Joker/ The Great Lemonade Stand
Blue Ribbon Blues / Roll Around The Clock

Disc 2 
Princess Problems / An Apple For Starlight
Up, Up And Away / Sister Of The Bride
Birds Of A Feather / Send In The Clown
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart / Gribet
Bon Bon’s Diary / Just For Kicks
Wars Ponies In Paradise / Who’s Responsible

Bonus Features: Sing-Alongs

Purchase a copy on Amazon.


My daughter is a huge My Little Pony and we were both excited to check out the Classic TV series as I grew up watching this series. It really bought back tons of memories of my childhood playing with My Little Pony. My daughter loved watching all the episodes but says her favourite are Roll Around the Clock, The Tea Party, The Princess Problems and The Great Lemonade Stand war. "A" really also loved the sing alongs which are a lot of fun for the whole family. Roll Around the Clock is really funny when Teddy his skate while spinning around. Sweetheart got her skates stuck to Teddy's that is why Teddy's skate came off.
At the Lemonade Stand War they had to beat the three boys, Ace, Charming and Teddy by making different lemonades or drinks.

My daughter gives this Series a 5 out of 5 stars!

Giveaway time! Our friends at Shout! would like to offer one lucky Genuine Jenn reader their very own copy of My Little Pony Tales: Complete Classic TV series. This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents. Good Luck! 

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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above dvd for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Night Buddies: Go Sky High ~ Book Review | Tour

Book Synopsis: 

When young John Degraffenreidt and his red crocodile buddy,Crosley, show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory and find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor,staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling, they expect something's afoot.

Not surprisingly, Crosley is craving a new supply of pineapple cheesecakes, but what Mae points to on her ceiling will start the Night Buddies on a totally new fantasy adventure, taking them all the way into the stratosphere in their newly modified racing blimp.

Purchase a copy on Amazon. 

About the Author: 

Sands Hetherington credits his son John for being his principal motivator. Sands raised his son as a single parent from the time John was six. He read to him every night during those formative years. He and young John developed the Crosley crocodile character in the series during months of bedtime story give-and-take. Sands majored in history at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and has an M.F.A. in creative writing and an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro. He lives in Greensboro.

Connect: Website | Goodreads | Twitter |

Review: (Review is by my 9 year old son who read the book) 

My favourite character is Crosley because he is funny. My favourite part was when Crosley and John went up in the sky looking for the bus. I think it was funny when John and Crosley threw yogurt on the lizards on the motor bikes. When Crosley got stuck in the bus I thought it was scary because Crosley is allergic to water. I like the illustrations. I am looking forward to reading the next book. I would recommend this book and give it a 5 stars!

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Calming the Chaos by Jackie Woodside ~ Book Review Health

Book Description: 

Far too many people in contemporary culture feel they don’t have enough time to “get it all done.” The stress of this chronic overwhelm creates a disorganized mind that leads to a chaotic life. Based on her highly acclaimed “Energy Management” workshops, and drawn from over 25 years of counseling and coaching experience, professional trainer and speaker Jackie Woodside shares her breakthrough methods that lead to becoming the least stressed, most productive person you know!

In Calming the Chaos, you will learn the step-by-step skills and thought processes that lead to increased productivity and peace of mind. Jackie’s approach stems from the new frontier of human performance called energetic consciousness. Part philosophy, part psychology, fully practical application, you will learn:

• Why there is no such thing as time management and what to do instead.
• How to manage your energy instead of your time and stress.
• The three-step formula for managing every component of your life for the rest of your life!
• Why “to-do lists” are a set up for failure and what really works.
• “The Three Strikes Rule” that will end procrastination for good!
• How to always know that you have the time for what you want and need to do!

Many books promise to change your life. Applying these principles will make this a reality!

Purchase a copy on Amazon, Author's Website or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW is a psychotherapist, coach, speaker and author, specializing in the power of managing personal energy, rather than time or stress. An Amazon bestselling author of 'What If It’s Time for a Change?' and highly sought-after speaker on leadership and empowerment topics, Jackie conducts training programs for public, private and government sectors nationwide.

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook


As part of my health & wellness journey includes personal development so I have been reading as much as I can about becoming less stressed and living more in the now. This book I was really excited to read and decided I would do a read through first and then go back and work through the process once I had a chance to read about consciousness. I have realized I have already taken steps to becoming Calm in the chaos. I always over schedule myself and say yes to everything and then wonder why later as there is never enough time. This book really helps you realize that you need to make priorities and decide how you are going to live your life. You will never get "extra" time. We only get 24 hours a day and we do for the most part get to decide how to spend it or at least how you are going to focus on it with either negative or positive energy.

I love that this book is easy to read without it being "clinical" and full of things the average person would be lost reading. It is a very easy and quick read with great examples to help you understand what the author is writing about. The author also has you work through the book to understand where you are living your life on the table and also how to achieve your goals at a calmer life. I will be working on one area at a time on the energy list and moving through this book. I am excited for a calm to my chaos.

I highly recommend this personal development book for anyone who would like some calmness and be more aware and conscious of the now. To live life to the fullest. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars!

Giveaway! Win one of 20 copies of Calming the Chaos (Open to USA and Canada) Ends July 4
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Follow the rest of the Book Tour below

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

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